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UPDATED: Prince William County schools closed again Friday to students, most staff on CODE GREEN

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Snowy school bus

School bus in a snow storm.


This week's wintry weather will mean a full week off for most Prince William County students and teachers. Schools will be closed again on Friday, Jan. 7, on Code Green, the school division announced Thursday afternoon.

Prince William County and much of Virginia is forecast to receive another 2 to 4 inches of snow tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

The storm comes just days after Monday's blizzard, which blanketed some parts of the county in as much as 12 inches of wet snow. Thousands of Northern Virginia residents lost power, and some remained without power Thursday as utility crews scrambled to repair downed lines scattered throughout the area.

The move adds another full week to the school division's two-week winter break. School administrators and custodial staff have been reporting to the county's 100 school buildings since Wednesday, however, in an effort to prepare the buildings and clean up snow after Monday's storm.

In a letter to the community Wednesday afternoon, Superintendent LaTanya McDade said the school division had hoped to return students to school on Thursday but that continued power outages and unfinished efforts to clear snow and ice from school parking lots and sidewalks made that impossible.

"Although some parts of the county are clear and ready for school reopening, I, along with PWCS facility teams, personally visited the areas  ... with the most significant snowfall. In reviewing these areas, and considering bus routes, student walkers, and student drivers, we have ongoing safety concerns that remain outside of our control," McDade wrote.

"In some communities, the streets remain untreated or minimally cleared. The potential for icy conditions for buses and students before sunrise remains a concern," she wrote. 

Schools will again operate on "Code Green" status. All schools will again be closed to students and teachers on Jan. 7, and all extracurricular activities and sports will be canceled -- just like they are on Code Red days.

But administrators will be asked to report to schools by 10 a.m. Friday morning, just as they did today. 

McDade's added that the school division will continue to monitor the weather, as more snow is expected Thursday night and Friday morning. 

An additional 2 to 4 inches is expected overnight Thursday, according to the latest weather advisory from the National Weather Service.

"We will continue to monitor the weather and will provide updates as necessary," the letter said. 

Earlier in the day, the school division announced that tonight's school board meeting would be rescheduled to Wednesday, Jan. 12.

Code Green status means:

  • Schools and offices are closed.
  • Virtual classes are canceled.
  • The School Age Child Care (SACC) program will not open.
  • All school activities (day and evening) are canceled including field trips, team practices, club meetings, interscholastic contests, and athletic contests.
  • All non-school activities (day and evening) are canceled including Adult Education, night school classes, and recreational programs scheduled in school buildings.
  • Students may use the day optionally to catch-up or voluntarily work on assignments already assigned.

Employees:

  • All employees on the teacher salary scale (Pay Grade 12) and less-than-250-day non-exempt employees do not report for work.
  • Teaching staff may voluntarily elect, but are not required, to employ “telework” or other work-at-home strategies to enter data, grade student papers, or otherwise supplement their normal work efforts (per Regulation 561-1, “Telework”). Time spent in this manner is strictly voluntary and shall not be counted against contract hours or otherwise compensated.
  • Inclement weather employees report on time. Refer to Reg 404.04-1 for more information on Inclement Weather Employees.
  • School Based/Central Office Administrators (Pay grade 13 and above) report to work at 10 a.m.
  • All 250-day classified employees report to work at 10 a.m.
  • Liberal Leave is in Effect - Employees may request approval to take leave in the event of extreme weather or a similar emergency which prevents them from safely reporting.
  • Professional Development activities may be canceled so check with the department or school sponsoring the activity."

 

 

 

Prince William County schools will be closed again on Tuesday, Jan. 4, on Code RED status, as the county digs out of today's storm that dumped heavy snow across the area.

In an announcement issued at 2 p.m. Monday, Jan. 3, the school division cited below-freezing temperatures and the need to clear snow from roads, sidewalks and school parking lots.

Schools will once again be closed on "Code Red" status, meaning that all school and school division offices will be closed and all extracurricular activities canceled.

According to the announcement:

  • Schools and offices are closed.
  • Virtual classes are canceled.
  • The School Age Child Care (SACC) program will not open.
  • All school activities (day and evening) are canceled including field trips, team practices, club meetings, interscholastic contests, and athletic contests.
  • All non-school activities (day and evening) are canceled including Adult Education, night school classes, and recreational programs scheduled in school buildings.
  • Students may use the day optionally to catch up or voluntarily work on assignments already assigned.

For employees

  • Employees do not report for work UNLESS declared inclement weather employees. Those designated as inclement weather personnel will report at times specified to perform essential duties as dictated by the event. Refer to Reg 404.04-1 for more information on Inclement Weather Employees.
  • Teaching staff may voluntarily elect, but are not required, to employ “telework” or other work-at-home strategies to enter data, grade student papers, or otherwise supplement their normal work efforts (per Regulation 561-1, “Telework”). Time spent in this manner is strictly voluntary and shall not be counted against contract hours or otherwise compensated.
  • All professional development activities including virtual are canceled.
Sunday, Jan. 2: UPDATED: Prince William County schools closed CODE RED Monday, Jan. 3
 
UPDATED: Prince William County schools will be closed CODE RED on Monday, Jan. 3, the school division has announced.
 
Code Red means that all schools are closed for instruction and all virtual instruction, after-school and extracurricular activities are also canceled. 
 
In a letter to parents issued after the the Code Red announcement Sunday, Superintendent LaTanya McDade said she called a Code Red -- instead of a Code Orange -- because Monday would have been the first day of school after the two-week winter break, and schools could not  ensure that all students would be fully prepared for remote learning.
 
Code Orange is a new school weather status initiated by McDade in December in an effort to reduce the instruction time lost to inclement weather. On Code Orange days, schools are also closed to all students and teachers but students are expected to do schoolwork remotely or “asynchronously,” meaning without the help of a live teacher.
 
"While this timing was not conducive to Code Orange, please know that this remains an option for this winter to minimize disruption to learning to the greatest extent possible," McDade's letter said.
 
Under Code Red status:
  • Schools and offices are closed.
  • Virtual classes are canceled.
  • The School Age Child Care (SACC) program will not open.
  • All school activities (day and evening) are canceled including field trips, team practices, club meetings, interscholastic contests, and athletic contests.
  • All non-school activities (day and evening) are canceled including Adult Education, night school classes, and recreational programs scheduled in school buildings.
  • Students may use the day optionally to catch-up or voluntarily work on assignments already assigned.
  • Employees do not report for work UNLESS declared inclement weather employees. Those designated as inclement weather personnel will report at times specified to perform essential duties as dictated by the event. Refer to Reg 404.04-1 for more information on Inclement Weather Employees.
  • Teaching staff may voluntarily elect, but are not required, to employ “telework” or other work-at-home strategies to enter data, grade student papers, or otherwise supplement their normal work efforts (per Regulation 561-1, “Telework”). Time spent in this manner is strictly voluntary and shall not be counted against contract hours or otherwise compensated.
  • All professional development activities including virtual are canceled.
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